At what point between Chelsea Dagger and now did The Fratellis lose it? A change of sound for the band has resulted in a mish mash of all the acts that have appeared in the charts over the last twenty years, and not in a good way. ‘We Need Medicine’, third album and comeback after a five-year hiatus for the Scottish trio opens with ‘Halloween Blues’. A promising intro brings bluesy-Seasick Steve vibes to your ears before an abrupt change in tone sends you straight back to the late 80’s with an uncanny resemblance to George Michael’s ‘Faith’.
If the first track wasn’t tumultuous enough for you, then the move between track two ‘This Old Ghost Town’ (‘Brown Eyed Girl’ with a slight spring its step) and track three ‘She’s Not Gone Yet But She’s Leaving’ (could have been ripped straight from ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’) leaves you questioning what they could come up with next. The answer to that question is a bunch of songs that wouldn’t sound out of place at a high-school dance in the 50s. Title track ‘We Need Medicine’ provides the record with not much more than a slightly below average name; musically, better things could be found on ‘NOW! 48’.
‘Until She Saves My Soul’ ensures the album ends on a high note, but by this point it’s hard not to notice the repetitive nature of the band’s come-back attempt. Individually, the tracks all have their merits, together; you can’t help but wonder just what The Fratellis were thinking.